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My Best Albums of 2016 - Sophie McEvoy


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It's actually a miracle that I could produce a list of of ten of my favourite albums of 2016, seeing as the majority of music I listen to was released in the 1990s or prior. 

I'm a side-line fan of most genres, but my heart and soul will forever be entwined with the pillars of rock.

Whether that's alternative, heavy metal, a dab of classic or an infusion of funk. And thankfully, 2016 has been full of releases from old and new favourites; even if this year has taken two of my personal music heroes - Bowie and Prince. 

But without further ado, here are my ten favourite albums of 2016.   

Red Hot Chili Peppers - The Getaway 

As with a majority of alternative rock bands that formed within the 1980s and 90s, The Getaway showcases the growth that the Chilis have gone through since their debut in 1984. 

The Getaway, along with 2011's, I'm With Youshowcases the talent of the Chili's newest full-time member Josh Klinghoffer. The album definitely accommodates Klinghoffer's unique guitar work much more than I'm With You did, alongside the insane energy of Anthony Kiedis, Chad Smith and Flea. 

The Getaway harkens back to the classic Chili's with 'Dark Necessities' and 'We Turn Red', whilst simultaneously showcasing their ability to reinvigorate their style with tracks like 'Go Robot' and 'Sick Love'.  

 Green Day - Revolution Radio 

After the failed ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, ¡Tré! trilogy, Green Day graced the airwaves with their latest album, Revolution Radio.

Inspired by the current political state of America - and subsequently the world - Revolution Radio follows the same formulaic background as the band have followed in previous releases. There isn't a coherent story per se, but more so a continious theme of doom surrounding American society in 2016. 

Revolution Radio took the trio back to their roots, combining the 90s punk fueled sounds of Dookie with their political efforts within American Idiot. 

As Billie Joel has stated, Revolution Radio has ended up being more of a make-under rather than a make-over. The band have admitted that the previous trilogy had no direction for them; especially in regards to their previous records. 

This album was a breath of fresh air for fans of Green Day, giving hope for the future for many more albums with the same direction and passion that Revolution Radio has brought back to the band. 

BABYMETAL - Metal Resistance 

For a group consisting of three teenage girls who had no prior knowledge of metal, they give it their all.

The band have released two records, their first self-titled album being released in 2014. 

Metal Resistance is their second record, featuring the badass single 'Karate'. BABYMETAL are a band that critics and metal fans don't know whether to treat seriously or not. 

Metal Resistance quells those troubles, showcasing the trios incredible vocal ability whilst also successfully merging technical metal, nu-metal, dance music and power pop. 

Deap Vally - Femejism

Probably my favourite female band of all time, Deap Vally released a gem entitled Femejism this September. Following the scriptures of their kick ass Riot Grrrl forebears, Deap Vally showcase how much they've grown from their debut record, Sistronix, in 2013. 

Both albums are distinctly different from one another.

The first is definitely focused more within the realms in blues rock, but it's Femijism that unleashes the beast within the duo that sounds bigger, badder and more powerful.

'Gonnawanna', 'Little Baby Beauty Queen', 'Smile More' and 'Post Funk' are tracks that instantly come to mind as songs that make me feel badass.  

VANT - Karma Seeker EP

Not strictly an album but I can't talk about my best albums of 2016 without mentioning VANT. 

'Karma Seeker' cements VANT as one of 2016 most promising bands.

The song itself is a hopeful track to the current generation, preaching for us to live for the future rather than day to day. The EP also features the track 'Welcome To The World of Berners Lee', offering a commentary on conspiracy theories from the 1960s to now. 

Their singles so far have been extremely promising, and their attitude to both music and politics are a nice, rebellious change in the landscape of 2016. I cannot wait to see how big VANT are going to be; they are definitely heading in that direction.

Black Mountain - IV 

Courtesy of Dave Grohl, I found Black Mountain this year. The Vancouver psychedelic rock band released their fourth album IV this year, containing 'Florian Saucer Attack', a song that Grohl fanboyed over on Twitter: 

"Every so often a song comes around that takes you by the ear, pulls you to the knees, and makes you beg for its claws to release you from its infectious grasp. Thank you, Black Mountain for the spark. Now, where's that guitar of mine..." 

The album itself is full of heavy-ass riffs, a classic rock twinge and an air of prog.

Black Mountain carry the torch of their prog and heavy rock forefathers such as Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin through their stand-out tracks 'Florian Saucer Attack', 'Mothers of the Sun' and 'Space to Bakersfield'. 

David Bowie - Blackstar 

It's been nearly a year since David Bowie passed, and I still can't talk about it. 

Obviously, this will be short. Bowie has meant a lot to me ever since I can remember, and it's a gift that he left us with Blackstar knowing that it would be his final album. 

I love you, David. 





Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool 

Radiohead's 1995 record, The Bends will forever be my favourite record of theirs, but A Moon Shaped Pool follows in at a close second.

Serving as Radiohead's ninth studio album, A Moon Shaped Pool features the two singles 'Burn the Witch' and 'Daydreaming'; with 'Burn the Witch' being one of my favourite tracks of this year. 

Following in the rest of their discography's footsteps, A Moon Shaped Pool has become Radiohead's fifth album to be nominated for two Grammy awards.

That's when you know a record must be at least somewhat good - and trust me, it is. 

Pixies - Head Carrier 

Pixies' sixth studio album Head Carrier isn't for every Pixies fan. For critics, it seems somewhat well recieved. But for a lot of fans, Head Carrier didn't fit their expectations.

For me personally, it fit mine entirely. It may have been because I've been a fan within the 2000s rather than the 80s and 90s, but tracks like 'Head Carrier, 'Um Chagga Lagga' and 'Bel Esprit' were all classic Pixies tunes to me. 

Pixies dabble on that double-edged sword that plagues all long-term bands; you either get slammed for staying the same, or burned for daring to do something different with your sound over time. Pixies have been going since 1986, and are a band that haven't stuck to a systematic formula since they first began. 

And truthfully, I don't think they care.  

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression 

Recorded in secrecy and featuring contributions from Josh Homme, Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age), and Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys), Post Pop Depression marks Iggy Pop’s desert-fuelled rock combined with his signature sound.

Iggy is known for being a legendary force within the rock community, not only through collaboration with other artists but for his ability to constantly adapt to the current rock sphere.

Recorded at the famed Rancho De La Luna in Joshua Tree, California, Post Pop Depression introduces a varied collection of tracks that reflect the location that it was recorded in.

Full of garage rock and sun-soaked instrumentation, the tracks are juxtaposed with Iggy’s lyricism focusing on sex and death; what else would you expect?

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